Unfamiliar Place Again NSFW

Author's note: This story was composed to the sweet tones of Home and Unfamiliar Place Again, as well as Mega Man X Dreams Come True. Hence the title.

Today was a rough day emotionally, so this is partially a journal entry.

Tala collapsed onto the bed, barely even managing to send her hat to the floor before landing on her face on the pillow.

Lixia, still dressed in her maid uniform, sat on the bed beside her. "Difficult day?"

Tala's head wriggled into the pillow.

"I'm going to take that as a yes."

Tala rolled onto her side, looking up at Lixia. Her eyes were mostly lidded - which Lixia would normally be pleased about, but which was accompanied by a world-weary downward tilt to her lips rather than the adorable sexy pout that was supposed to go with it. "Lixia, you're a lot older than me. Right?"

"Wow. You're no spring chicken yourself," Lixia laughed, pinching Tala's rear. To her disappointment, there was no cute squeak and batting her hand away. Only a light "Heh" and Tala curling away from the touch. "... Yes, I've seen a good few decades more than you have."

"Does it ever get easier?" Tala rolled onto her back, pulling the pillow out from under her head and putting it onto her face. Her voice was muffled when she continued, "It feels like it's just going on forever, never getting easier, never getting better. Putting out one fire only to have another one pop up - sometimes one I started, by accident or on purpose."

Lixia sucked in a slow breath through her nose, then blew it out between her lips. "Does it ever get easier? No. In my eighty years since birth, it has never once gotten easier. And it's sometimes gotten much harder."

"I kind of thought so," Tala groaned into the pillow. Her arms looped more tightly around the pillow, muffling what sounded like a cross between a frustrated laugh and a sob.

Lixia held up a hand. "But while it always got harder, I also got stronger. I learned more things. Made more friends. I have you now. So even though it's harder, I can take it."

Tala lifted the pillow off her face. "Me? What good am I to you?"

"You let me get a foothold in the mortal realm-"

"I never should have let you get hold of my feet," Tala said wryly, grinning mischievously.

"Ha ha ha." Lixia elbowed Tala in the ribs. "They're so cute, though, I just gotta lick 'em... along with the rest of you..."

"Shameless. Literally without shame."

"That's a succubus for you," Lixia said, blowing Tala a kiss. "... Anyway, what good are you to me? You literally have made several of my longest-held dreams come true. And not because I made you, or because you were afraid of me, or because you wanted to trap me and use me for your own gratification like so many summoners I've had before. But because you care about me. You want to see me, the real me, and make me happy."

Tala's cheeks felt warm when Lixia's fingertips brushed against them. Just faintly, just enough to feel. Tala groped for words. "W... Well, yeah, anyone would..."

"But you did. And I'm always grateful for that." Lixia's cheek caress turned into a playful pinch. "Plus you're so cute."

"Flirt."

"Tease."

Tala's chest heaved under Lixia's watchful eye as she sighed. "I guess you're right. I have you, and Amah, and Alun and Reina and Kat, and... back when I was... when Amah came... I didn't have any of you. I was still so lost then."

"And you still get lost sometimes today, and that's okay," Lixia said. Her voice was delicate silk, her fingertips strking Tala's scalp through her thick, wild hair. "Adventuring is about being lost. It's about going places no one has ever gone. There's no map for you to follow except the one you make. So you're going to get lost. But little by little, you're learning how to survive even when you don't know where you are. How to find water and food and shelter. And how to remember your way back home. To me."

"You're not on the adventure with me?" Tala asked, her face screwed up into an exaggerated pout.

Lixia's face broke out in a grin, a puff of laughter escaping through her nose. "I've got my own adventure, you know. But I'm always here to be the wise old demoness in yours, just like you're the young and beautiful love interest in mine."

"... You know, you said... I'm learning how to find my way back home. Right?"

"Yes, that's right." Lixia had taken to drawing symbols of love on Tala's forehead.

Tala stared up at the ceiling. "... I think one of the ways I've changed is that I have a home now. Sure, I've always had a place where I've lived, but... until you and Amah, and Kat and Reina and Alun, I'd never... had a home."

"And we're a home that comes with you on your adventures," Lixia said, an affectionate smile lifting the corner of her mouth. "No matter how hard they get, you can always come and rest in me."

"Not literally."

Lixia put one finger, claw extended, to her lip. "Mmm. Well, we'll see about that."

The pillow smacked her in the face a moment later.

"You're right. No matter how hard it gets, having you with me means it's not so bad..." Tala said, sitting up again now that she'd thrown the pillow off herself. "Thanks."

"That's what I'm here for," Lixia purred. "That and the chance that you might let me swallow you up..."

"Keep dreaming," Tala said, but in her head she wondered if there was a way to do it safely. To be honest, the idea of resting in her succubus girlfriend wasn't so bad, after all...